The money will go to students who owe money directly to LSU, the university said.
Louisiana State University is forgiving the debt of thousands of students who were enrolled at the university during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school announced Monday that through COVID-19 aid provided to them though the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund they will be forgiving $7 million in debt.
"In an effort to continue providing access to an LSU education, we have made the decision to clear all unpaid prior tuition and fee balances for LSU students who enrolled at any point during the COVID-19 pandemic period," LSU Vice President for Enrollment Management Jose Aviles said in a statement.
"We are committed to ensuring that students have every opportunity to continue their educational pursuits," Aviles added. “Their dream is to walk across the stage and receive an LSU diploma, and our job is to do everything we can to make sure that happens."
The money will go to students who owe money directly to LSU, the university said, and it will apply to amounts that began spring 2020 when the pandemic first began.
The student loan debt situation in the U.S. is dire, as $1.7 trillion is owed in collective debt. Last week, the Biden administration announced it would be forgiving $5.8 million in student loan debt for borrowers with permanent disabilities who earn a low income.
The administration also recently extended the pause for payments toward federal student loans, which are set to resume after Jan. 31, 2022. They have said it will be the “final extension."
Senate Democrats have tried to urge Biden to broadly forgive $50,000 in federal student loan debt through an executive order, but that doesn't seem likely. Biden has stated that he will support only up to $10,000 of forgiveness and said he would like Congress to draft legislation.